good insight, D!
i have always been aware of my masks - and was very conscious of keeping them firmly in place. i valued them because they kept me - if not safe - then, at least feeling a little less vulnerable. i guess i was taught to create and wear at least one - the "good boy" by the parents - so that no one would look too close or question or discover too much about our family. but i soon began creating others for different situations - and was quite adept at switching them almost seamlessly.
i discover as i go on, i have a desire to be know for who i am behind the masks. that version of myself is probly most clearly seen right here on MS. but even here there is a degree of self-protection. i think as i become more whole, the mask i wear comes to resemble the real me behind it more and more.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself... And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - Paulo Coelho